It's my last weekend in St. Kitts and I'm living it up. Friday night, we went out and partied till 5am. Saturday, I attempted to go to the last tourist place in St. Kitts I hadn't been and was curious about- the Amazing Grace Museum that opened recently- but it was closed. Instead, I ended up with a nice drive. Sunday, I got up and went diving. We dove the River Taw (again) and then a new site I hadn't been to before. As usual, the dive was wonderful because I was diving with Kenneth's. We saw some big polka-dotted rays which were pretty awesome. Also, I outlasted the other folks diving by a long shot for the first time ever. (Usually, I run low on air towards the beginning of the group. This week, I had at least 10 minutes after the other guys left AND I wasn't even that low when we went up.)
Finally, I did one last round-island drive. Pictures soon.
So, now that I've lived here for a year, I think I've seen and done a lot of the things to see and do on the island. Here is my summary of what to do when you're in St. Kitts, by interest and time:
- While I think it's silly to pay to go to a foreign country not to see it, if you have no interest in actually seeing anything... If you come in by cruise ship, stay in Port Zante or get a ride over to the beach at Frigate Bay or Shipwreck. If you're staying on-island, stay at the Marriott and you never have to leave.
- If you're into sea life... Go diving with Kenneth's Dive Center, if you're certified. One of the other dive centers has a bad reputation for a reason, and all my dives with Kenneth's have been wonderful. If you're not certified, you can snorkel the reef right off the beach at Shipwreck, which is up the peninsula.
- If you're into active or adventure activities... Hike Mt. Liamuiga. It's a strenuous hike, but a very cool journey. Kayak from the end of the peninsula (like Reggae Beach). Run the golf cart paths of the golf course by the Marriott. If it's a week night and you're on-island, go to No Limit Fitness (Frigate Bay by the circle with the Canadian flag) for aerobics/kickboxing/Zumba class that starts around 6ish. If it's Saturday, go for a run/walk with the Hash House Harriers. If you're on-island in March, do the cross-island swim (to or from depending on the year) Nevis.
- If you're into history/culture... If there's only one thing you do, it should be to go to Brimstone Hill Fortress. There are pretty decent displays, cannons, and a great view. The St. Kitts museum in Port Zante won't take very long, but check it out. Wingfield Estate is a ruined sugar mill that has signage and that you can climb in and explore, but also doesn't take very long. Romney manor/Caribelle batik is right next to Wingfield and you can see them making batik patterns there. Independence Square isn't well-marked, but a lot of island history happened there.
- If you're into music... If you came on a cruise ship, you're somewhat limited. There is a steel pan band that usually sits by the Port Zante Amina Craftmarket entrance. Inside the Pelican Mall there is a rasta man who sells CDs and you can pick up the CDs of the local bands (Grand Masters, Sugar Band, Small Axe, Kollision). If you're staying on-island during the week, go to No Limit Fitness (see directions above) for the class because Elston always plays great local music. If you're staying on-island over the weekend, go hang out at The Terminal for early. (The bus/ferry terminal downtown Basseterre has good reggae and other music as well as some of the better dancers on the island.) For later, try to catch the party at Cloud 9, Potential, or 17 Degrees- whichever one has a local band instead of a DJ will be more packed. For later later, head to the Strip at Frigate Bay, again trying for whatever beach bar has a local band. If you're tastes are a bit calmer, Spice Mill also frequently has a band playing.
- If you're a foodie... Check out the cookup. (Anybody on the street willing to give you a plate where you don't have a choice what goes on it, you just get what they have in the pans today.) Check out the local vendors in Basseterre who are sitting by the circus or the terminal and selling local fruits, veggies, and beverages. You won't find these in the grocery store. Also, if it's Saturday morning, check out the Saturday market for fresh whole spices and more local foods. Depending on what season it is, see if you can get your hands on these items that aren't common in the states: breadfruit, breadnut, soursop (or soursop juice), wax apple, monkey cherry (cashew fruit), raw sugar cane, golden apple, sorrell juice (not the herb, a red flower) and these fruits that are more common in the states, but also great fresh in St. Kitts: tamarind, mango, passion fruit, pomelo, pineapple, fresh whole coconut Go to Coopers over towards Dieppe Bay for the best macaroni pie. Carambola has great soup, but average everything else. If you're looking for good foreign food, check Twist in Port Zante.